Cover: The Distribution of Power in the U.S. Supreme Court

The Distribution of Power in the U.S. Supreme Court

Published 1981

by Arthur Q. Frank, Lloyd S. Shapley


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.9 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback36 pages $20.00

The distribution of power among the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court is calculated using techniques of factor analysis in conjunction with a generalized Shapley-Shubik power index that takes into account the ideological or philosophical profiles of the voters. A three-dimensional profile space is constructed, based on data from the 1977-78 term. It is found that, because of his central position in this space, Justice Powell has the highest probability — about 35 percent — of being pivotal in a typical decision.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.